Hurtigruten Expeditions has introduced the third battery-hybrid powered ship – ‘Otto Sverdrup’.
‘Otto Sverdrup’s sailing from Hamburg, Germany, on her maiden voyage on 24th August, marked three major milestones:
• introduction of Hurtigruten Expeditions’ third battery-hybrid powered cruise ship;
• introduction of the first year-round expedition cruises from Germany, with Hurtigruten Expeditions offering departures directly from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast;
• return of expedition cruises after more than a year of pandemic pause.
“We are thrilled to finally be back exploring with our guests. This is a day we have all been really looking forward to after a very challenging year for the entire travel industry,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen (pictured).
Equipped with battery backs and other green technology, ‘Otto Sverdrup’ will operate year-round expedition cruises from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast.
“We saw the travel industry’s global pause as a golden opportunity to invest, upgrade and improve our ships and product. As we return to cruising, ‘Otto Sverdrup’ will feature a combination of advanced green technology, including new battery packs, that will ensure an even more sustainable way of exploring the Norwegian coast,” Lassesen added.
Following a complete upgrade and transfer to Hurtigruten Expeditions, the ship’s maiden voyage from Germany was the first sailing in a step-by-step operational restart.
Late September, ‘Maud’ will start the first ever year-round UK-based expedition cruises. In addition to the closer-to-home departures from Hamburg and Dover, Hurtigruten Expeditions 2022/2023 winter programme also includes Antarctica, West Africa, Alaska, and from January 2022, the Galapagos Islands.
“Our guests have been extremely patient, and I know they are as excited as we are. As we return to operations, the safety of our guests, crew and the communities we explore is our number one priority.
“Our stringent health and safety protocols, including our vaccination policy for all guests and crew, will ensure that everyone feels safe, protected and comfortable on board without limiting experience,” said Lassesen.
Hurtigruten Expeditions recently launched expedition cruises to West Africa, including Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde, as well as the Galapagos Islands and more recently the company has announced cruises to Russia.
“We see a huge pent-up demand for travel, with substantial and growing demand for authentic adventure travel. We expect to see this trend to strengthen, as we continue to expand our global offering with even more unique and more sustainable experiences,” Lassesen explained.